Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Who knows President Obama? Part II

The other day I provided two contrasting looks at President Obama from a couple of pundits. But when it comes to answering the question "Who is this man that is our President," I suspect that this story told by a volunteer answering phones at the Obama campaign headquarters in Chicago the day after the 2012 election pretty much sums it up.
I take a call from a woman on the South Side of Chicago...She says she knew Barack Obama almost 30 years ago, back when he was doing work for ACORN and their fight to end the destructive industrial pollution going on in the area, pollution that was potentially harming those residents. Barack, as she called him, was concerned about the children, and whether this would give them cancer. He was quite passionate about the work he was doing....

She continued to tell me how back then Barack didn't have a lot of money and didn't own a car. He would walk miles and miles to participate in these activities and campaigns. Sometimes, she would see him walking, and she would pull over and ask him if he'd like a ride. He always said yes, and always expressed his gratitude. She was always impressed with his passion for doing the right thing, and his compassion for those who may be suffering. But more than that, she was struck by his shoes. For his shoes had holes in them. And he was always wearing the same khaki pants he wore whenever she saw him. But Barack Obama was a determined man, and would simply do whatever he needed to do for others, regardless of his own needs.

Now, this woman continued, did she ever think this man would be President of the United States one day, No. But is she surprised? No - because she said that man, sitting next to her in that car, so humble and so determined, is STILL THAT MAN today. I told her that was a wonderful story and thanked her for sharing it with me.

Now, two hours later, this man, President Barack Obama is standing before me, and of course, several hundred others who all worked so hard to get him re-elected. This man, so proud, so smart, so patriotic, and so incredibly humble, thanks all of us for our incredible hard work. Tears run down his face as he speaks, and you look around and we're all choked up right along with him. This man, our President, is still THAT MAN, and I, at that moment, had a feeling of validation, like I have never felt in my life.
So, when it comes to understanding the man Barack Obama, who are you going to believe? The pundits who view him from afar and project their own issues onto him, or the people he's worked with up close and personal over the years?

Oh, and we all got to witness that powerful moment this woman wrote about in her last paragraph.


  1. Yep. He's a great man who needs a decent constituency and a fair shake from the media. I love watching him cool applause--- you can tell that he'd rather be using that time to tell everyone everything he wants them to know than listening to the applause. He's a man of the people. He loves people.

  2. There is no other 5 minutes of video as powerful as this one. Stepping back to listen to his words and glimpse his vision...stunning!